People come into our bakery looking for something special every day--from beautiful custom cakes to a simple plate of pasta. But we’ve come to know that so many of you walk through our doors looking for the perfect loaf of fresh-baked bread. That’s why we’ve been spending a long time, (about three years!) reconsidering how we approach baking bread and what we offer in our stores.
Spark of an Idea
A little over three years ago, we started toying with the idea of offering breads baked from a sourdough starter. Learning from some influential chefs and reading books from bakeries from famous sourdough cities (like San Francisco), our spark of an idea turned into a slow, deliberate experimentation. We worked from published recipes at first, then started developing flavors of our own. The result is now an expanding menu of sophisticated breads made using a slow-rise method and from a sourdough starter that we have cultivated here at our flagship bakery in Brockton.
What Goes into a Sourdough Loaf?
If you are unfamiliar with sourdough bread, you might be surprised to learn the simplicity of its ingredients. Sourdough breads start with what is known as a sourdough starter: a living, fermenting mixture of flour and water. That’s it! Natural bacteria that live in the environment around us, known as lactobacilli, and wild yeasts that live in the flour used and in the air, combine together over time to ferment and come alive. The starter must be “fed” every day with a little more water and a little more flour. Then it sits and grows and waits to be used!
Did you know that some people name their starters? There are some New England sourdough starters that date back to the very first settlers that came to our shores. In fact, baking sourdough bread is an ancient practice that dates back for millennia. Some argue that this is the best way, maybe even the only way, to truly bake bread. Though the research on this is still early and requires more studies, some hypothesize that sourdough breads may be better for people who have mild gluten sensitives. Because of how they are made, sourdough breads also boast a longer shelf-life than mass-produced bread.
How We Make it at White’s
As with all of our menu offerings, our sourdough breads are made fresh and onsite at our Brockton bakery. We start with fresh, excellent ingredients and now we add our homemade sourdough starter to give our breads that unique sourdough taste. Then, we wait. It takes a long time to let those natural yeasts do their work. The long, slow rise creates complex flavors that can only be achieved by adhering to this strict method. So the artisan loaf that you pick up in the store today was actually started yesterday morning. That’s how long it takes to achieve the unique taste we’re looking for.
Wondering about the rye and whole wheat breads on our artisan menu? It’s all the same: made onsite with simple, high-quality ingredients, all mixed with our sourdough starter. We mix the rye or whole wheat flour with our universal starter, creating unique starters just for those batches.
Modernizing a Legacy
We’re really proud of the breads that we’ve offered you all over these last 30 years. In fact, many of our regular staples are staying, unchanged on the menu. Making a change to a menu like ours isn’t an easy thing to do. Respecting the tastes and interests of our loyal customers while also elevating our offerings means striking a delicate balance. We’ve decided that the best way to do this isn’t to throw out the old recipes, but to introduce our new techniques into many of the bread offerings that you know and love. Furthermore, we’re rolling out exquisite new flavors that will be offered on a regularly rotating basis so you can sample the new possibilities that sourdough has to offer! Stop in today to pick up your new everyday favorite or sample something you’ve never tried before. We think you're gonna love it!
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1041 PEARL ST.
98 DERBY ST.
321 SCHOOL ST.